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Res Philosophica

Volume 92, Issue 2, April 2015
Transformative Experiences

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Displaying: 11-15 of 15 documents

11. Res Philosophica: Volume > 92 > Issue: 2
Ryan Kemp The Self-Transformation Puzzle: On the Possibility of Radical Self-Transformation
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In this paper, I argue that cases of radical selftransformation (cases in which an agent willfully changes a foundational element of their motivational structure) constitute an important philosophical puzzle. Though our inclination to hold people responsible for such changes suggests that we regard radical transformation as (in some sense) self-determined, it is difficult to conceive how a transformation that extends to the heart of an agent’s practical life can be attributed to the agent at all. While I contend that the best way to solve this puzzle is to deny that radical transformations are in fact self-determined, many maintain the opposite. The defense of my thesis involves showing how the conditions that must be met in order to coherently attribute transformation to an agent are not satisfied in cases of radical transformation. Radical transformation is, thus, something that happens to an agent, not something that is done by her.
12. Res Philosophica: Volume > 92 > Issue: 2
Rachel McKinnon Trans*formative Experiences
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What happens when we consider transformative experiences from the perspective of gender transitions? In this paper I suggest that at least two insights emerge. First, trans* persons’ experiences of gender transitions show some limitations to L. A. Paul’s (2015) decision theoretic account of transformative decisions. This will involve exploring some of the phenomenology of coming to know that one is trans, and in coming to decide to transition. Second, what epistemological effects are there to undergoing a transformative experience? By connecting some experiences of gender transitions to feminist standpoint epistemology, I argue that radical changes in one’s identity and social location also radically affects one’s access to knowledge in ways not widely appreciated in contemporary epistemology.
13. Res Philosophica: Volume > 92 > Issue: 2
Nathaniel Sharadin How You Can Reasonably Form Expectations When You're Expecting
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L. A. Paul has argued that an ordinary, natural way of making a decision—by reflecting on the phenomenal character of the experiences one will have as a result of that decision—cannot yield rational decision in certain cases. Paul’s argument turns on the (in principle) epistemically inaccessible phenomenal character of certain experiences. In this paper I argue that, even granting Paul a range of assumptions, her argument doesn’t work to establish its conclusion. This is because, as I argue, the phenomenal character of an experience supervenes on epistemically accessible facts about its non-phenomenal character plus what the deciding agent is like. Because there are principles that link the non-phenomenal character of experiences (together with what a particular agent is like) to the phenomenal character of experiences, agents can reasonably form expectations about the valence of the phenomenal character of the experiences that they are deciding whether to undergo. These reasonable expectations are, I argue, enough to make the ordinary, natural way of making a decision yield rational decision.
14. Res Philosophica: Volume > 92 > Issue: 2
Muhammad Velji Change Your Look, Change Your Luck: Religious Self-Transformation and Brute Luck Egalitarianism
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My intention in this paper is to reframe the practice of veiling as an embodied practice of self-development and self-transformation. I argue that practices like these cannot be handled by the choice/chance distinction relied on by those who would restrict religious minority accommodations. Embodied self-transformation necessarily means a change in personal identity and this means the religious believer cannot know if they will need religious accommodation when they begin their journey of piety. Even some luck egalitarians would find leaning exclusively on preference and choice to find who should be burdened with paying the full costs of certain choices in one’s life too morally harsh to be justifiable. I end by briefly illustrating an alternative way to think about religious accommodation that does not rely on the choice/chance distinction.
15. Res Philosophica: Volume > 92 > Issue: 2
L. A. Paul Transformative Choice: Discussion and Replies
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In “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting,” I argue that, if you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, you cannot make this decision rationally—at least, not if your decision is based on what you think it would be like for you to become a parent. My argument hinges on the idea that becoming a parent is a transformative experience. This unique type of experience often transforms people in a deep and personal sense, and in the process, changes their preferences.In section 1, I will explain transformative experience in terms of radical first-personal epistemic and self change. In section 2, I’ll explain the notion of subjective value that I use to develop the decision problem. In section 3, I will discuss the way we ordinarily combine our introspective assessments with testimony and evidence. In section 4, I will discuss the problems for rational decision-making. In section 5, I will explore the problem of first-personally transformed future selves. In section 6, I will engage with the main themes and arguments and ideas of the authors of the papers contributed to this volume.